Suzuki’s blast sparked a six-run inning that gave the Nationals an 8-2 lead. In the eighth, Washington piled on with a two-run homer by Adam Eaton that led to another memorable dugout dance. After making his way through the celebration line, Eaton sat on the dugout bench alongside Howie Kendrick, and as they have all season, the two veterans proceeded to rev the engines and drive two imaginary vehicles. Next stop, a World Series title?
“We’re both really big car guys,” Eaton explained afterward. “We love cars, so we were like, you know what? Let’s drive. All of a sudden, Howie started hitting homers, and I’m like, this is pretty cool, we’re driving. I gotta get in this. We started driving some more and now we love it. I look forward to it. I round the bases and I’m like, man, I get to drive.”
Wednesday’s drive wasn’t the smoothest of the season, according to Eaton.
“I missed third gear on my truck,” he joked, via the Los Angeles Times. “I short-shifted and came out of the clutch a little early.”
There was yet more dancing, after Michael A. Taylor knocked yet another ball out of the park. How much can one team dance?
“There was a lot of dancing in the dugout,” Fox analyst John Smoltz said after the Nationals took a two-games-to-none lead with a 12-3 win.
There was a lot of hugging, too. Well, one especially long hug, anyway, with Aníbal Sánchez and Gerardo Parra, who sported the lucky sunglasses they picked up at a promotional table outside Comerica Park in June, sandwiching Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg in a tender embrace. The normally reserved Strasburg, who let loose in the clubhouse after Washington clinched a spot in the World Series, looked as if he enjoyed it, at least as much as he enjoys anything.
“This team is having so much fun,” Frank Thomas said on Fox’s postgame show. “This is the World Series. Have you ever seen a dugout more animated than this Washington Nationals ballclub? I haven’t seen it. The baby sharks are attacking right now and they’re playing their baseball.”
Nationals Manager Dave Martinez joined MLB Network after Wednesday’s win and was asked about the dugout dance parties.
“They started it fairly early [in the season],” Martinez said. “They tried to do it outside of the dugout, and that’s when I kind of nipped it in the bud. I told 'em, we celebrate, we celebrate inside the dugout. We don’t celebrate outside the dugout. That’s not who we are. Don’t start that now, I don’t believe in that. But I don’t mind you guys having fun and celebrating. Hey, you earned the right to do it.”
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